• Jenna Kantor

Being You is Enough


[ Being you is enough ]

When I was 16 years old, I was a hardcore ballerina. It was my life.

I was in rehearsals for this annual gala put on my ballet studio, which showcased a variety of choreographed pieces in order to raise money for the studio.

In one dance, I shared the lead with another girl from the studio who was never really nice to me. She thought she was better than me and I agreed with her. She was beautiful, talented, and popular at her high school. I was not. Although it did not excuse her behavior, I understood it.

In this approximately 10 minute piece where we shared the spotlight, we did not get a break. It was a challenge to get through. In fact, I had to request the choreographer put in a moment for me to exit the stage to get a few seconds to briefly recoup.

Close to the end of the dance, when most exhausted and out of breath, the the two leads had to do a series of fuetes together. For those who don’t know, fuetes are when a ballerina turns and uses one leg to keep turning. This was a significant challenge because of the fatigue. In the first run through, I could not make it through those turns. I kept pushing myself. Every time we ran the piece, I was able to do more and perform the fuetes better. The girl opposite me gave up every time and did not push herself.

On the day of the show, I was able to make it through those turns like a champ. The other girl tried doing it for the first time and was unable to do it. It was a victory for my self esteem. Here was this person who looked down on me who was unable to do something I could do. I was used to feeling invaluable and less than around this girl. This experience proved otherwise.

As I heaved backstage to recover from the challenge, I felt like jumping for joy. This electrical wave of happiness was shooting through my veins. Nothing could take away the smile that was stamped on my face. What is the take away from all this?

Honestly, in the performing arts no one is better than anyone else. We are all human and deserve love. We are all valuable. We are all enough.

And yes, it never hurts to have a little victory to remind you of your value.

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